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The Nature-Friendly Hunter

The nature-friendly hunter's motto is: Leave the woods the same as when you
came. Well, minus an animal or two of course. If you are going to be camping
overnight, try to disturb as little of the environment as possible. Don't clear
brush unnecessarily. Try to envision your trip as an overnight stay at someone's
home. You are a guest in the habitat of many animals and some you aren't even
aware of.

Always bury your campfire to ensure that it will not reignite and cause a
full-blown blaze in the wilderness. Check your fire several times before
leaving the area. Forest fires can be devastating to natural areas for years
afterwards. If left to spread out of control, a forest fire not only endangers
the lives of animals but the lives of citizens and firefighters as well.

Bodily functions are an unavoidable part of life. When relieving yourself, bury
your fluids and excrement with dirt to prevent disturbing territorial boundaries
of animals.

If you pack it in, pack it out. Do not leave trash lying on the ground. Return
your campsite as close to its original condition as possible before leaving.
Double check your gear before hiking out so that you don't unintentionally
leave anything behind. Pack your food in airtight containers to avoid
attracting any hungry neighbors.

If you are installing a tree stand, choose a mature, healthy tree. Smaller
trees may be permanently damaged by the combined weight of your gear and your
body. Consider tying back stray branches instead of cutting them. Choosing a
mature tree will provide you with more choices in large branches to fasten your
safety cord to as well.

A few safety tips

Be aware of your surroundings. Watch for bad weather and leave tree stands at
the first signs of high winds to avoid injuring yourself and the tree. Keep
your eyes and ears open for flash floods. Dress appropriately for the predicted
weather in your area. Dressing in layers is helpful. Don't forget your safety
orange clothing to alert other hunters in our area of your presence.

Be on the lookout for stow-aways in your bedding or gear like snakes,
scorpions, or spiders. Shake out all bedding and clothing, including your
boots, before putting them on or packing them away for the day. You wouldn't
want to pack an unwanted visitor and bring him home with you.

Bears, badgers, or other aggressive animals may be encountered when hunting.
Keep your eyes open and attempt to avoid any confrontations with any animal
that you are not stalking. Keep in mind that this is the animal's home and you
are the guest. Try to back quietly away from an animal without disturbing it.
If an animal attacks you, cover your head with your arms and roll into a tight
ball to protect your head and torso from injury.

Teach your children to respect nature and the environment when hunting
together. The best way to teach is by modeling respectful behavior while
showing your children the basics of successful hunting. This ensures that the
joys of hunting can continue for generations to come.

Picking the Best Rifle

Picking the right rifle for the big hunt is vitally important because it can
make or break the hunt itself. You never know what problems may arise from
having the wrong rifle at the hunt, so ensure that you have taken the time to
pick the best rifle for the job. There are a number of criteria points that
should be explored as you determine the best rifle for hunting, too. As you
grow as a hunter and learn more, you will be able to make your own decisions in
terms of picking a rifle for the hunt. For now, however, it is likely best that
you consider a bit of expert opinion.

There are many types of hunting rifles. Bolt-action, lever-action,
semi-automatic and pump-action rifles are just a few of the different types of
guns that hunters utilize in the big hunt. Within these types, there is also a
selection of different caliber types. Solving the great mystery of picking the
best rifle, then, means answering a few questions about the type of hunt you
will be on.

You will first need to consider your location. If you will be hunting in thick
brush, you will probably need a faster-loading gun that you can operate rather
quickly in tight spaces. With limited visibility on your hunt, you will likely
want a light gun that you can work with rather quickly. If you have a longer
distance to cover, you will probably want a rifle that offers you a great deal
of more control. Bolt-action rifles can give you that control, but they are
hard to work with in small quarters of space because of the mechanics of
operation. While some hunters may say that they have done so, it can be
extremely complicated to load a gun with a bolt-action loading mechanism while
crouching behind a bush. The movement alone could lose the prey.

You will also need to consider your type of prey. Most rifles are suitable for
killing deer of any kind. Again, the discussion ventures back to the location
distinction on this account. If you are killing smaller animals, however, you
may want a rifle that you can hold at a more "still" pace. This means that you
do not want to spend your time controlling the gun when you are trying to
control the shot. For this reason, many recommend going with a smaller
semi-automatic for hunting animals like rabbits or badgers. The skittish nature
of the animal can be offset by squeezing off a quick shot from a semi-automatic.

After you have determined your prey and your location, it may be time to pick a
rifle. Of course, there are many popular brand names within each subset of gun
type, but the reality is that you will need to find a gun that you find to be
most comfortable. You will look for strength and accuracy out of a bolt-action
gun, for example, which may lead you around to several gun stores before you
find the right one. You should also look for little extras on the gun, such as
adjustable triggers and thumb safety switches. Features like these will make
your gun a lot safer and a lot more user friendly.

After you have purchased your gun, you should get to know your gun. Take it
apart and put it back together again. Learn the ins and outs of your gun so
that you can be as safe as possible with it. You will need to know what
ammunition it is that your gun shoots. Find out the best way to maintain and
store your gun, too. Gun safety is of utter importance, so ensure that your new
rifle is locked away and stored in a safe place away from children or other
family members that may be curious about it. Always keep it unloaded when you
are not using it and never point it at another person.

Hunting has survived the modernization of civilization. In fact, it has
flourished into one of the most popular pastimes and hobbies in the world.
Unfortunately, one of the world's favourite past times can also be one of its
most dangerous. Every hunter should know some basic things before heading out
into the fields.

The most important aspect of hunting concerns how to walk and carry a gun. It
is important to make sure that the muzzle always points away from the hunter
and any companions. There are many ways to do this. One option is the side
carry, which is effectively carrying the gun with one hand and tucking the
stock between the elbow and the body. It is not recommended to use the side
carry when the hunter is walking through dense brush or with other companions
walking in front, however.

Another option is the ready carry. With the ready carry, the gun is held with
two hands and the muzzle is pointed upwards and towards the front of the
hunter. The trigger finger should be rested on the proper guard.

The sling carry involves both hands of the hunter being free. A sling is used
to carry the gun over the hunter's shoulder, giving clear range for the hunter
to move however he or she wants.

Others prefer the shoulder carry method of carrying a gun. Using this technique
involves the muzzle of the gun resting skyward. It is probably not a good idea
to use this technique of carrying a gun with companions behind.

Finally, the trail carry involves the gun held at a point between the action
and the trigger. If someone is walking ahead of the hunter, it is not a good
idea to use the trail carry because the muzzle is pointing down but forward.

Once the hunter has established a safe and comfortable way to carry his or her
weapon, it is very important to plan next what to do when encountering the
game. Before encountering the target, all hunters should establish a "zone of
fire" where each will shoot and track when game appears. It is very important
that one hunter never encroach on another's zone.

When hunting from a boat, there are general safety precautions that should be
considered. First, make sure the weapon to be used by the hunter who will be
sitting in the bow of the boat is unloaded. His or her gun must be placed
facing the bow. The next hunter places his or her unloaded gun in the stern
with its muzzle pointing to the rear. Hunters should always remember to anchor
the boat before shooting and to fire in opposite directions.

To keep their skills sharp, hunters often practise on ranges. These controlled
shooting areas also have a set of commands geared for the safe enjoyment of all
the participants. If a hunter says, "the range is hot", for example, it means
that the range is open for shooting and that there are no live objects, such as
people, on the range. If a hunter says, "cease fire", it means to stop all
firing immediately. Another command on the firing range is "ready". This is the
last precaution taken by shooters before the "range is hot" command. Each
shooter repeats the phrase "ready" from right to left to ensure the firing line
is clear and safe.

Hunting Safely

The thrill of chasing down a twelve-point buck or bagging a prize-winning
turkey sends millions of hunters into the woods every year in search of that
prize kill. Hunting is exciting, but it can also be dangerous and even deadly
if hunters are not educated and religiously exercise good hunting safety

The Basics

Before leaving on your hunting trip, prepare yourself well. Never go to an
unplanned location or take off on a spontaneous hunting trip. Let others know
where you are planning to hunt and when you will be returning. If necessary,
leave detailed directions to your hunting grounds with friends or family that
will be staying home in case an emergency arises and they need to direct
medical personnel to your location. Try to return home as close to your planned
time as possible. If you are late checking in, your contact person can then know
to set out using your directions to see if you need assistance.

Take the time to prepare your weapon. If using a rifle or shotgun, clean and
inspect the weapon after every use and after any time the weapon has spent in
storage. Prepare a small first aid kit to carry with you while you are hunting.
Consider bringing your cell phone. You can always keep it turned off while you
are hunting, and a phone can be the difference between life and death in a
medical emergency. Always be prepared to give detailed directions to your exact
location as you move through the woods.

In The Woods

Once arriving at your chosen hunting spot, be sure to don your safety gear
along with orange-colored clothing on your head and/or chest to help other
hunters in the area determine you from the game. While camouflaged gear is
great to help you remain undetected by the animals, it can also confuse other
hunters if they see movement from a distance without recognizing the orange
color. If you are hunting in a group, try to keep the location of those around
you in your mind as you change positions to help avoid accidents.

If you are using a decoy such as a doe decoy, be sure to use orange safety tape
around the perimeter of the area you will be in, to help other hunters recognize
your decoy. You can also observe the area from an elevated position to further
protect yourself from any stray shots directed at your decoy.

During The Hunt

If you are hunting deer and find yourself tracking a wounded animal, always use
extreme caution. Other animals in the area may become panicked at the smell of
one of their own running wounded near them. An injured animal is very
unpredictable and may likely be desperate to get away if it senses that you are
pursuing. Never approach a wounded animal head-on. Never allow yourself to be
corned between a solid object and a wounded animal. Always have a way of escape
in mind should the animal attack. If attacked, try to protect your head and
chest as much as possible to limit damage to your vital organs and increase
your chance of survival.

It is also important to be aware of and on the lookout for other animals like
bears and snakes that may be encountered while hunting. Being aware of your
surroundings is an important step in staying safe while hunting. Use some
caution and common sense to ensure many more years of happy hunting yet to come.

Basic Firearm Safety For Hunters

Every year, hundreds of hunting accidents occur across America; just ask Vice
President Cheyney. Many of these accidents could have been avoided by
practicing a few basic gun safety techniques.

Know your weapon

If your weapon came with an owner's manual, read it from cover to cover.
Practice taking apart your weapon and inspecting it thoroughly. If you know
what your weapon looks like normally, you will be quick to recognize any
abnormalities of the weapon in the field. If you drop your weapon or fall while
carrying it, take it apart and inspect it for damage. Make sure that the slide
operates smoothly. If you are in doubt about the integrity of your rifle, don't
fire it.

Educate yourself about the ammunition that you choose to use. A .22 caliber
bullet fired from a rifle can travel over two and a half miles. This knowledge
is necessary to line up a safe shot.

Transporting the weapon

Always keep your weapon unloaded until you are ready to fire. If you are going
to hike to a new location, unload before starting out. Store the rifle and
ammunition separately and, if possible, keep the storage container locked.
Never carry a loaded rifle in your vehicle or on an ATV.

Sighting your prey

When sighting up your intended shot, there are many things to consider before
pulling the trigger. Never shoot at a partially obscured target. Identify your
prey fully before even raising your weapon to take a shot. If you are in doubt
about what is moving, control your excitement and wait until the target can be
fully visualized. Never hunt after dusk or before daybreak.

Know what is in front of and behind your target before shooting. Do not shoot
animals that appear on hilltops and near the tops of ridges as you cannot
identify what may be behind your target. If your game is near water, rocks, or
buildings, keep in mind that bullets can ricochet off hard surfaces. Do not use
the gun's scope to sight your game. Use your binoculars first, and then if the
shot is clear, switch to the scope.

Treat your weapon as if it is loaded at all times

Never look down the barrel of a weapon for any reason. Keep your muzzle pointed
away from yourself and others at all times. Learn and use various safe carrying
positions for transporting your rifle in the field.

Keep a clear head

Never go hunting or handle a weapon if you have had any alcohol or medication
that may impair your judgment. Even a sleeping pill the night before can affect
your reflexes during the day. Get plenty of rest the night before your trip and
go home early if you find yourself becoming drowsy.

Sighting a big buck or a fat bird can be exciting. It's important to keep a
level head at all times and not let your emotions cloud your judgment. Don't
allow yourself to act without thinking through the action to determine if it's
safe first.

Wear your safety gear

Bring along hearing and eye protection and wear them before shooting. Include
safety orange in your choice of head gear and upper body clothing. This helps
other hunters in the area distinguish you from the prey.

Gun Safety for Hunters

There are many reasons that a hunter would get seriously injured, but the
leading cause is improper gun handling. Unfortunately, too many hunters ignore
vital safety precautions when hunting and do not take good care of their
weapon. Hunting injuries or fatalities are becoming all too common in the world
of hunting and many people do not seem too concerned about the fatal realities
of these incidents. The logical hunter, however, takes careful note of all of
the safety precautions involving his or her weapon and learns the basics of gun
safety for hunters.

One of the first fundamental laws of hunting safety is to always treat the gun
as if it is loaded. This is a universal guideline for gun safety as it does not
refer to any actual type of gun. In terms of having a gun in general, one should
never assume that it is unloaded. One should never be flippant with a gun or
wave it around, point it at others or work carelessly with it. There is always
the off chance that something could occur as a result of any gun powder residue
or other possibilities, giving the odds of a dangerous incident more ground than
necessary. Instead, simply treat the gun as if it is always loaded and err on the 
side of caution.

In relationship to the aforementioned law of gun safety, it is important to be
responsible and keep the gun unloaded until it is ready for use on the hunting
grounds. This avoids any injury or death due to the gun accidentally going off
due to careless use or due to improper storage. Many a story has been told
about gun injuries relating to guns going off in truck compartments and
shooting through truck seating, relating to the notion that the gun was not
only properly stored but that the improperly stored gun was loaded. For reasons
such as these, always store the gun as unloaded.

When on the hunting field, it is important to remember hunting safety
techniques. Always keep the fingers in indexed positions until ready to fire.
This avoids any accidental firing which can obviously result in serious injury.
Instead, the fingers should be somewhat folded and away from the trigger if
possible. If the fingers are more apt to be near the gun's trigger, keep them
folded and away from any notches until the prey is well within scope range. One
false move with a finger too close to the trigger could result in accidental
firing resulting in injury or death.

Keep the gun pointed in a safe direction. This, of course, means that the gun
should never be pointed at another person. Many a story has been told of guns
pointed at hunting companions in jest, only for the gun to accidentally go off
and injure or kill the unfortunate companion. For this reason and for reasons
involving common sense, keep the gun pointed somewhere safe and away from
yourself and people at all times. This rule applies whether the gun is loaded
or not.

Never look down the barrel of the gun to see if it is loaded. This is simply
something that should not be done under any circumstances. As a reference to
the aforementioned rules, one of the fundamental foundations of gun safety is
expecting the unexpected. If one is looking down the gun barrel, there is no
predictable way to ensure that the gun will not accidentally fire from powder
residue or any other elements that could be lodged in the gun. Keep the face
away from the gun barrel at all times.

Make sure that the gun is never dropped. This can result in accidental firing,
which can send a bullet or powder in a very chaotic and unpredictable
direction. Instead, always hold the gun with both hands and treat it as
carefully as possible.

Never let a person who is intoxicated in any way handle a gun. Alcohol and
drugs slow the reason factor on people, resulting in a lapse of reason and
better judgment. An intoxicated person may improperly operate a firearm,
leading to injury or possible death.

All in all, these fundamental rules should be followed if one wants to ensure a
safe and happy hunting trip. Without paying attention to safety regulations, the
risk factor of the average hunting trip more than doubles and injury is almost
inevitable. Be safe when hunting or handling a gun of any kind.

Hunting Rabbits

For many people, hunting rabbits is cruel and unusual punishment. For others,
however, hunting rabbits is an age old sport that requires patience and skill.
This article will speak to the latter while paying no mind to the former,
realizing that the rabbit hunt is as old a tradition in America as hunting
other animals and acknowledging that, while hunting may not be necessary in any
modern context, it is a heck of a lot of fun.

Most people choose to hunt rabbits with a dog. This is because using a dog can
help bring the rabbit out into the open or can help draw the hunter towards the
area in which the rabbits are more prolific. A dog can also serve as a great
companion to hunting, enabling the hunter to actually have someone to talk to
instead of the cold steel of the Remington rifle. Still, some people choose to
hunt without a furry friend, making for a different hunting experience.

When people hunt for rabbits without a dog, it is important to learn the traits
and factors involved with rabbits. The hunter must virtually become the rabbit;
learning the rabbits pathways and food stops are vitally important to a
successful rabbit hunt, so thinking like a rabbit is integral to the success of
the hunt. Of course, thinking like a rabbit may tell you that killing these
furry little friends for sport isn't such a great idea. If that happens, ignore
those facts and focus in on your goal of bagging a fluffy bunny.

An ideal time to hunt bunnies is in the first warm days of spring. Here,
bunnies will likely be soaking up the sun and having a great time in open
fields. This is a great time to break out your rifle and start bagging some
rabbits. The time is ideal because, in relation to the winter, the rabbits you
seek will be more out in the open and more prone to be visible to the naked
eye. In winter, rabbits tend to smartly utilize brush cover and brambles to
cover their tracks from nosy bloodhounds.

It is important to realize that rabbits tend to run from side to side. This, of
course, does not mean that you should not actively watch the rabbit while firing
madly into the open field. What it does mean is that a hunter can actively track
the path of the rabbit by watching for repeated steps in terms of the tracking.
A rabbit will only run in a short line for a short time, changing pace and
darting back and forth in jagged hops until it reaches its safe cover. Knowing
this, follow the rabbit with your tracking skills and nail it before it hops
down the rabbit hole and back to Wonderland.

Many hunters make the mistake of moving too quickly and making too much noise
when hunting rabbits. Just ask Elmer Fudd about the best options for hunting
rabbits and he will tell you that the best technique for hunting "wabbits" is
to slowly stalk the prey before firing off shot after shot from your alarmingly
huge elephant gun. The honest truth about hunting bunnies is that the technique
must fall somewhere in the middle. Charging into the middle of a known rabbit
field with your guns blazing will likely not catch you any rabbits, but you do
need to be somewhat assertive to bag a bunny.

The overall best technique for hunting rabbits is what is known as the "stop
and go" technique. This technique is exactly what it sounds like; the essence
of the stop and go technique is in utilizing tip-toe style movements and
stalking the rabbit through watching it, moving towards it and moving further
towards it. As you can pattern the rabbits' movements, you can eventually
squeeze off a shot and throw poor Cottontail in the trunk to impress all of
your friends. If you miss, however, be careful. Some rabbits actually bite.

Survival Tips for The Hunter

The essentials for your survival kit

Sometimes it's easy to lose your way in an unfamiliar wood. Carrying a compass
and maps of the general area that you will be hunting in can help in the event
that you get lost. Carry a flashlight with extra batteries in case you get
caught out after dark. There are also flashlights on the market now that
operate by just a shake, eliminating the need for batteries. Matches in a
waterproof case are essential and a sharp knife is good to have as well. A
traditional Bowie or a Swiss Army knife both serves the purpose.

Some granola, candy bars, or dried fruit are a good idea to bring along if you
are not skilled at finding food in the wild. Never eat any plants or berries
unless you are familiar with what types are poisonous. If you are unsure of the
safety of a plant or its fruit, don't eat it. Risking an illness while stranded
in the wild is not preferable to an empty stomach. A bottle or two of drinking
water is necessary also. Humans can survive for weeks without food but only
three days without water. You will not want to drink any water found on the
land without boiling it for several minutes first to kill off any bacteria or

It is recommended that you carry a needle and thread in your survival kit.
These materials can be used to repair torn clothing. You can also stitch up a
wound to stop heavy bleeding in case an injury occurs and you cannot get
medical attention right away.

Most hunters carry a six to eight-foot length of rope to help drag their game
back to the truck or haul equipment up into a tree stand. This rope can be used
in many ways if you are stranded in the woods for an extended period of time.
You can use a rope for first aid purposes, to help build a shelter, or to
secure equipment during your hike. You can even string up a makeshift
clothesline to dry wet clothing should you fall into standing water. Be sure to
keep your rope with you and not in the truck.

It is also a good idea to wear a belt when out hunting. A belt can be used as a
tourniquet in an emergency, as well to help secure a splint to a limb if
necessary. A belt is one first aid item that you don't have to cart around

Fire safety when stranded

It's important to follow usual camp safety guidelines when starting a fire
under any conditions in the wild. Always triple check to make sure a fire is
completely out before leaving the area to prevent flare ups and a potential
forest fire. Choose an area away from trees and shrubs, and line your pit with
small boulders or stones to help contain the embers.

Gather larger logs and sticks and stack them in a teepee fashion. Then gather
small twigs and scraps of paper to use as kindling at the base of your teepee.
Blowing gently on your kindling will help your flames catch hold. You can use
pine boughs to shield your fire from wind if necessary. You can also use boughs
to stand or sit on if snow is present. This will help insulate your feet from
the cold while warming yourself near the fire.

Find the Right Shotgun for Turkey Season

Now that the spring turkey-hunting season is nearly upon us, you should find
the right shotgun. As turkey hunting has become increasingly popular, more and
more manufacturers have developed shotguns that have more features. There are a
few things you need to keep in mind as you search for the perfect shotgun.

You need to buy a shotgun that fits you. The only sure way to find a shotgun
that properly fits you is to make an appointment with a firearms expert. Pull
the gun to your shoulder. Always point the muzzle in a safe direction. See if
the gun swings into place without extra effort. Pay attention to the weight of
the gun -- is it comfortable? Next, adjust the placement of your forward hand.
Check to see if you are able to hold the shotgun steady for a set amount of
time. Also, see if you are able to comfortably carry the shotgun for long
distances. If you answer "yes" to each of these questions, you may have found
the right shotgun.

Remember that when it comes to turkey hunting, a bigger shotgun is not always 
better. 20-gauge shotguns are growing in popularity, mainly due to their high-
powered turkey loads and available chokes. You are better off buying a shotgun 
that perfectly fits you than you are choosing one that has the largest gauge 
or load size.

Give yourself an opportunity to see how your shotgun performs under different 
circumstances. Shoot it with different loads and shot sizes whenever possible. 
Most shotguns offer several choke options. A shotgun that shows success in 
increasing pattern performance is your ideal gun. As with all of your hunting 
equipment, you want to use only the highest quality gear that performs well 
when you need it most.

You must take the time necessary to discover the limitations of your firearm. 
You can do several things to find out how well your gun will work at the moment
when you need it to perform. Pattern, experiment with different loads and
chokes, and practice real hunting situations on the range. These actions will
help you learn when to shoot and when to hold back. Certain shots are risky,
and you are better off holding your fire.

If you are using a 20-gauge shotgun, you must be within 25 yards of your target 
for your ideal shot. Very young hunters, or those hunters who lack experience, 
should follow the same distance. Knowing your limitations as a hunter is as 
important as knowing how well your shotgun will perform. This knowledge is the 
difference between success and disappointment.

Finding the right shotgun for your spring turkey hunting will take a fair amount 
of experimentation and practice. Your goal will be to determine the best choke 
constriction, load, shot size, and distance. You want a gun that is comfortable. 
You want a gun that fits your body size. Do not always go for the largest gun, 
as a bigger shotgun does not always equal a better shotgun. The best way to 
discover the shotgun that best fits you is to practice with different ones. There 
is a perfect shotgun out there with your name on it. Simply take the time to find 
it. Once you have discovered your ideal shotgun, you will be able to kick off a 
safe and rewarding turkey season.

Exploring the Dangers of Bear Hunting

For some reason, people seem interested in the notion of tracking down a bear
through the wilderness and killing it. While it may seem strange, there is a
small cult of people that follow bear hunting considerably and make it an
active part of their lives. These people tend to find generalized hunting a
little too "tame" for their tastes and instead lurk after the lumbering bears
of the forest. Often seen as an attempt to prove their manhood, bear hunting is
a dangerous and largely unnecessary sport that typically challenges all notions
of natural balance and order. Instead, most bear hunting aspects lead to
dangerous outcomes or to the possibility of extinction.

Bear hunting, while seemingly unnecessary to the average person, is actually a
legal and monitored part of the hunting regulations in North America. Alaska is
one of the largest places for hunting bears. Several times a year, Alaska can be
found swarming with hunters trying to bag the big one and those just curious to
watch the bear hunts. The danger and general excitement of the hunt is enough
to draw on the very basic components of human nature and create a buzz around
bear hunting. Unfortunately for the bears and for some innocent bystanders,
bear hunting creates a chaotic and unfortunate scene.

It is argued by hunters that the bear population is quickly recharging and
regenerating itself, leading to the moral validity of bear hunting. In other
words, there are enough bears in the world and, furthermore, without bear
hunting the population of bears in certain areas would be overwrought. While
this notion may be partially true, it is also important to consider that bear
hunters typically are not properly educated in the matter. Some bear hunters
are not hunting for purposes of thinning out a particular species to maintain
some sense of animal control in the area. This leads to many bear hunters
callously shooting at anything that moves and taking down anything that looks
like a bear, paying no mind to the species or importance of the bear.

For this reason, bear hunting is best left to the professionals. There are many
within the wildlife community that are given the task of taking down the bear
population by statistically represented and supported numerical values. These
wildlife officials know what bears to look for and have identified the bears
that are older and weaker, leaving the decision of hunting bears down to an
actual representation of the bear community in a particular area and to actual
natural law.

In that respect, bear hunting appears to be the domain of the testosterone-
driven hunters. The hunters looking for the best possible kill are typically 
adrenaline junkies that are looking for danger and excitement. As many examples 
over time have proven, bear hunting can provide that danger and excitement in 
more than ample amounts. This leads to fatalities or injuries that are often 
results of people getting too close to bears or people getting too involved in 
the bear's natural habitat. In short, people simply do not know when to leave 
well enough alone.

With all of this rhetoric around bear hunting, one would think that the very
notion of how dangerous the sport is would be enough of a repellent. However,
every season more hunters are flocking to alleged hunting sites and every
season more needless waste is being done to the beautiful natural backdrop that
bears and other animals call home. The amount of human-led damage to the forests
and natural setting of Alaska because of bear hunting is staggering.

Regardless of any moral convictions, it is important to maintain a factual
focus when discussing hunting of any kind. Whether we live in an age in which
hunting is a necessity at all anymore is certainly up for dispute. Many argue
for the sport aspect of it, but a more logical approach might suggest that the
arguments for the sporting aspect of bear hunting are better left behind.

The Problem with Canned Hunting

Canned hunting is effectively trophy hunting. A canned hunt is a type of hunt
that involves the hunter being essentially promised a kill by a hunting agency
or governing body. The activity basically takes place on the grounds that the
host of the hunt, whether a hunting agency or private party, captures an animal
and releases it in a generally enclosed area to be hunted by the hunter. The
enclosed area tends to be a small fenced in area so that the kill comes rather
easily to the hunter.

Naturally, there have been all sorts of ethical issues involving canned
hunting. Through the years, the controversy and criticism of canned hunting has
reached a fever pitch. Rightly so, as the issue with canned hunting is one more
directed towards animal cruelty than any other type of hunt. The animal is
captured and "canned", giving it no original chance for survival. This type of
simplistic approach to hunting is often polarizing to many within the hunting
community, some of which appreciate the delicate balance of nature in its own

The United States actually has a set line of legislation regarding canned
hunting because of the criticism. In the Sportsman Hunting Act of 2005, the
United States proclaimed that anyone who transports an exotic animal for the
purposes of canned hunting shall be fined or put in prison for no longer than
one year. While the penalties are not all that tough, the sentiment is still
resounding. The United States government does not particularly qualify what
constitutes an "exotic animal", however, and this has led to some confusion
among canned hunters.

The critique involving canned hunting is rather obvious. Animal rights groups
claim that is it cruelty to animals and, while they protest all types of
hunting, their position is somewhat more compelling when it is amplified by
other hunting groups. Certain hunting groups claim that canned hunting takes
away from the element of the "fair chase" or the "fair catch". In other words,
hunting groups typically claim that part of the adventure of the hunt is, of
course, the hunt. Without the hunt, hunting is left to barbaric slaughter.
These hunting groups claim that canned hunting simply strips away any of the
elements of survival in terms of hunting and brings it down to its most
animalistic classification.

Naturally, another opponent of canned hunting is the North American Humane
Society. They claim that canned hunting represents cruel activity towards
animals and exists to promote brutality towards animals. The hunted animal,
according to the Humane Society, has literally no chance to escape and is
essentially a victim of terrorism by the hunter and the hunting party. The
animal is captive and is nearly tortured by the psychological implications of
being in captivity and then being hunted while in such captivity.

There are several incidents in current events which reflect canned hunting. The
United States Vice President Dick Cheney is said to be a fan of canned hunting,
once apparently bagging around seventy ringneck pheasants on a hunt in which
the pheasants were captured and then released in a specific area upon Cheney's
request. Of course, the most famous Dick Cheney canned hunting incident likely
involved the shooting of Harry Whittington. It is not known if Cheney has any
objections to canned hunting on a moral level, however, as the Vice President
tends to be known for a certain level of ambiguity.

Canned hunting represents a great deal of controversy and criticism in America.
It is not looked at favorably at all and, instead, is rather shamed even within
the hunting community. As the community of hunters tends to progress and allow
for nature to operate on its own constraints within their boundaries, canned
hunting tends to represent all that is wrong with human interference on its
most brutal and basic level. Canned hunting is not hunting at all; it is simply
a deadly game of capture and kill that gives the animal no chance to run.

Quail Hunting

Quail hunting is one of the top sports for those on the upper crust of society.
It is considered the top game or hunt of the aristocracy and is practiced by
vice presidents and world leaders to this day. Quail hunting is typically
considered this way because it demands a lot less of the hunter in comparison
to other hunts. It does not take place in the morning, for example, or in the
shivering cold. Instead, quail hunting can be done in relative comfort and can
actually be quite stylish. For this reason, many people in the upper class of
society try quail hunting.

Quail hunting typically involves two hunters and a pair of dogs, typically
called bird dogs. These dogs chase down the quail and retrieve the bird after
the kill has been made. Often times, quail hunts are attended by spectators and
watchers. There can be large crowds at quail hunts, gathering to watch the
majesty of the sport unfold before their very eyes. There is something surreal
and beautiful about quail hunting and watching the bird dogs do their work,
making it one of the most interesting human experiences to be had.

Proper gear is recommended when quail hunting. This includes having the proper
boots for the fields and the marshlands. The right pants are also required,
preferably pants that are called "brush pants" because they are of a color that
matches the color of the brush. These pants also work to prevent thorns and
briars from penetrating the pants, which is a common downfall to hunting quail
in the brushes of North America. It is also recommended that the hunter wears a
proper vest or a coat so that ammunition and other immediate supplies can be
stored in it. The best option is something of a bright color so that the
hunters will be obvious in the field and not confused with the quail.

There is a certain formation and strategy to quail hunting that is very
important. First, the dogs are sent to flush out the birds. As this is
happening, the hunters are preparing their guns to be mounted on their
shoulders. The safety of the gun should be kept on at all times until the gun
is ready to be fired and mounted on the shoulder of the hunter. The gun barrels
should be pointed to the sky, towards the prey, and away from any other hunter
or from the ground. The two hunters should then follow the line of the dogs and
maintain a straight line themselves, one hunter after the other. This formation
is very important because of safety issues. The reasoning behind the straight
line formation is to keep the hunters away from firing unpredictably upon one
another's personal space.

Each hunter should have a mental note of where the other hunter is. The dogs
should also be noted. This is to identify locations as to where the hunter
should not point or swing his or her firearm. This should be also a way to
divide the field up into sides. One side belongs to one hunter and so on. Once
the sides are determined, the dogs will flush the quail into the air and the
shooting begins. Hunters should stick to firing on their side of the range, so
as to avoid danger and poor form.

It should also be noted that low flying quail should be avoided at all costs.
This is not only dangerous, but it has led to the unfortunate demise of many
bird dogs because of the low shots. Keeping the guns high during a quail hunt
is of vital importance so as to protect all of those involved in the hunt.

With these safety precautions and gun etiquette tips in mind, quail hunting
should be a remarkable and fun sporting event to take in. Bring some friends
and get set for a lovely day in a field with the dogs. Quail hunting can be a
peaceful time as well, leading to plenty of reflection and quiet in the middle
of America's most beautiful marshlands.

Turkey Hunting

One of the most popular ways to hunt turkeys is with a bow and arrow. It is a
tradition in North America, apparently, that relies on turkey calling and
making the perfect shot. There are many agencies and organizations in place to
both put a stop to turkey hunting and to support the tradition of turkey
hunting. Like most warring factions, these two groups will stop at nothing to
try to prevent the overtaking of their ideals. One cannot typically pick a side
on an issue, however, without knowing the issue itself. It is important,
therefore, to get as much of a foundation in the information on turkey hunting
as possible to guide an informed decision.

Turkey hunting is all about luring the birds out into the open and plugging
them with a bow and arrow or with a shotgun shell. Many people prefer the bow
and arrow because it adds a great deal of tradition to the hunt, almost
justifying it. The first notion of turkey hunting is finding a turkey roost.
These are generally easy to find, though, because the roost is within a
controlled environment in North America for the most part. Wild turkeys are
also quite easy to find because they gather together in large groups. The idea
is to not get too close to the roost of the turkey. It is recommended that the
hunter stays about one hundred to two hundred yards away from the roost,
leaving ample room to fire and to get set when the turkeys come running.

The next focus of the turkey hunt is to get the turkeys out of the roost, of
course. For this, the hunter must begin a series of embarrassing but effective
turkey calls. These consist of an array of clucks, clicks, whistles and hoots.
It is important not to confuse the call of an owl or of another bird with a
turkey call, lest the hunter is set upon by various predatory birds and the
hunt becomes a lot less enjoyable. When turkey calling from a location, start
with a series of clucks and yelps. If there is no return cluck or yelp from a
live turkey, increase the sound volume and get more aggressive. This will make
turkeys think that a turkey nearby is either aggressively approaching or is
challenging territory. Eventually, a turkey should come out of the roost.

When this happens, it is a good idea to set the sight of the shotgun or the bow
and arrow on the target. Prepare and continue calling the turkey, as this will
draw them closer to the range of fire. If the turkey will not approach a
suitable range, try to use very soft purrs or clucks. As always, watch out for
the other predatory birds or cats that may latch on to the use of this sound.
The clucks and purrs should, theoretically, entice the bird out and closer to
the range of fire for the hunter. Turkeys can be stubborn at times and
incredibly stupid at other times. They really do not have much of a distinction
between knowing human calls and knowing actual turkey calls.

Nonetheless, the shot must be taken when the bird is close in range. The hunter
should release the intellectual grasp on the clucking and purring for long
enough to release an arrow or squeeze off a shot. The follow-through is
important as the sound will likely send more turkeys scattering away or in all
sorts of directions. The birds quickly will become disoriented, so it is
important to remember to spot the kill and mark it before continuing. Resist
the temptation to try to pick off another one of the scattering birds, as this
may lead to a never-ending cycle of killing running turkeys without the freezer
space to accommodate.

A turkey hunt typically results in a bird for Thanksgiving or Christmas. There
are many countries and states, however, that do not allow wild turkey hunting
anymore. The hunter is responsible for checking on local regulations before
participating in any turkey hunt and learning the laws of the land in which
they are prepared to cluck and purr.

Hunting Dogs

Hunting dogs are certainly the best possible ally of the hunter, as they sniff
and scavenge for prey in the deepest and darkest brush of the forest. There are
many different possibilities for a hunting dog type that you can take on your
next trip. The type of dog you should take on your hunting trip should be
directly related to the type of hunting you are planning on. If you are planning 
on hunting fur-bearing animals, for example, you would be more satisfied with a 
hound than you would be with a terrier. Regardless of what dog you choose to 
take with you on your next hunting trip, you can be sure that you will have made 
a new friend by the end of the journey.

The most common main category of hunting dogs is the hound. Hounds are actually
divided into two categories from there: the sighthound and the scent hound. As
their names imply, each sub-category of dog type refers to a certain skill that
the dog tends to be more proficient in. Sighthounds, like the Whippet, are
adapted to hunting because of their visual acumen. They practice a method that
is known as coursing, referring to the notion of spotting the prey from a long
distance and following it in a quick pursuit. Scent hounds, like the Coonhound,
work by scent rather than sight. They tend to pick up on a trace of the prey
from the ground and follow that scent, hopefully to the prey. Scent hounds
often work in packs and are regarded as having some of the most sensitive noses
of all other dog types.

The next classification of dogs used for hunting is the gun dog. These dogs are
used mostly by short range hunters using shotguns. There are three
sub-categories of gun dogs: flushing spaniels, pointing breeds and retrievers.
Again, their names are reflective of the particular skill that the dog has to
offer the hunter. The retrievers, once known as water spaniels, are great for
finding and getting shot or killed game for the hunter. If the hunter kills a
duck, the retriever heads over to pick it up and brings it back to the hunter.
The pointing breed, such as an English setter, tend to "point out" the prey by
pointing at upland birds or other upland animals being hunted. The pointing
breed of dogs sometimes also help flush the prey out from their hiding spot.
The flushing spaniels, such as the English Cocker spaniel, are used to locate
and spring the prey for the hunter. They are trained to remain close to the
hunter, ensuring an easy kill.

Still another popular type of hunting dog is the terrier. Terriers are used to
hunt mammals, for the most part. These animals, such as the Lakeland terrier,
are used to locate the actual den of the animal and spring or capture the
animal. Some terriers are bred to kill the animal at the animal's den. A large
number of terriers are used to hunt what are known as "pest species". The pest
species refer to groundhogs, hunted by the Jack Russel terriers, or the badger
or fox, hunted by the Fell terrier. The legality of some of these hunts is in
question, so you may want to check your local regulations before you set upon
and hunt a fox.

There are many particulars that make using hunting dogs a popular option for
hunting. Whether you choose a sighthound or a scent hound, you can be assured
that your companion hound will be working for you at finding your prey. Using a
gun dog can not only provide great companionship, but it can bring prey right to
your doorstep and literally take the hunt out of hunting. Terriers not only make
a vigorous hunting companion, but they also make for a nice domesticated animal.
Make sure that you consider the hunting dog type before you go out on the hunt
so that you can bring the best possible breed with you and land the best
possible kill for this hunting season.

First Aid For Hunting Safety

Hunting can provide opportunities for many types of injuries. Being prepared is
your best defense against disabling injuries or even life-threatening accidents.
Knowing some basic first aid and using common sense when in the wild can save
both life and limb.


If you don't know CPR, learn it. Call your local hospital, EMS, or fire
department to find out when and where you can attend a community CPR class. You
never know when you may need to perform CPR on a friend, family member, or even
a stranger. A few hours of your time could save a life someday.

Many CPR classes offer basic first aid classes as well. Check with your local
provider to see if this option is available before registering for a class.

Safety Rules during A Crisis

The first rule of safety during a crisis may sound selfish but it is important.
Take care of yourself first. Check the scene of an accident for unsafe
conditions. Make the area safe for yourself and bystanders before beginning
first aid. The reasoning behind this rule is that if you become injured or
incapacitated, you can't help anyone else. If you become injured, rescue
workers arriving on the scene will then have you as an added victim to care
for. Seconds make a difference in a crisis, but take a few beforehand to ensure
that you will be able to provide the help that is needed.

Basic Hunting First Aid

Healthcare personnel are taught the ABC's of first aid: Airway, Breathing, and
Circulation. Your first concern is whether the accident victim has a clear
airway. If the mouth or throat is blocked by blood, water, or objects, tend to
this matter first. Next, see if the victim is breathing or is in danger of
ceasing to breathe. The brain and vital organs cannot last long without oxygen.
Provide rescue breathing if necessary.

Then, check for a heart beat and any injuries that may be seeping blood. Apply
pressure to any areas that are bleeding with a clean cloth if possible. Don't
be afraid to press hard! If there are others present who are able to assist
you, ask for their help in applying pressure to a wound. If the bleeding is
profuse and the wound in located on an arm or leg, you can use your belt or a
section of rope to wrap around the limb and secure tightly to restrict blood
flow to the injured area and slow the bleeding. This is called a tourniquet.

Call for help! After you have controlled breathing and provided an initial
round of CPR, call for help and then continue CPR until rescue workers arrive.
Performing CPR can be exhausting. If others are available to help, perform
two-person CPR or trade off tasks frequently to prevent rescuer exhaustion.

If you or another hunter falls from a tree stand or other elevated area, do NOT
move until you are sure there have been no spinal injuries. Moving a person who
has spinal injuries can cause shattered bone to cut through the spinal cord and
result in paralysis. Ask the fall victim to move their fingers and toes only. If
they are unable to, they have injured their spinal column and need special care
in moving. If they are breathing and not bleeding profusely, leave them in the
position they are in and get help.

If they are able to move fingers and toes, gently turn them over onto their
back if they are not already positioned so. Try to turn them as if they were a
log; keep the head, legs and torso aligned and stiff as you roll them. This
will prevent any compression on the spinal cord should the vertebra protecting
the cord be compromised.

Some falls and spinal injuries that affect the neck area can result in a person
not being able to breathe on their own. If this happens, you must provide rescue
breathing for them until help arrives.

Using firearm safety and common sense like avoiding aggressive animals can go a
long way to prevent hunting accidents. Educate yourself, hunt with others, and
always tell someone where you will be hunting and when you will return. Keeping
safe in the woods is everyone's responsibility. Be sure to do your part.

Disease and Hunters

There are many possibilities for hunters to get sick. Many critics consider
these aspects to be nature's defense mechanisms towards human interference.
Whatever the case may be, care must be taken when outdoors at all times to
avoid these diseases and these problems. There are many precautions one can
take to avoid getting sick in the great outdoors, so attention must be paid at
all times to the surroundings and to the natural habitat in which the hunt is
taking place. Without proper due care and attention, there is no telling as to
what type of affliction can set upon a camp.

There are many diseases that are spread by mosquito. These are called
"arboviral" because they are spread by arthropods. Arboviral diseases are known
to produce clinical illnesses in humans that require the attention of a medical
professional. Arboviral diseases transmit what are called "alphaviruses" to the
patient, causing typically mild symptoms but sometimes releases harmful
after-effects. Another arboviral disease that is getting a lot of air time
lately is the West Nile virus. This is also spread by mosquitoes, but
originates in birds. Mosquitoes feed on the birds and then spread the virus to
humans by feeding on the humans, mixing the blood types. For this reason,
always bring bug spray and always ensure that mosquitoes are instantly swatted
or squashed as they appear.

A bacterial infection that hunters can find themselves with is brucella.
Brucella is a bacterial infection that is typically spread from animal to
animal as they feed on one another. As hunters kill and eat animals, there is a
potential for brucella to be present. Brucella are actually bacterial organisms
that are highly infectious. The food is typically the highest source of
infection and the most likely area of capturing brucella infection.
Fortunately, there are very few incidents of person-to-person brucella
transmission but it still is possible. Standard precautions should be taken at
all times in dealing with hunted meat. The kill must be cleaned and cooked
properly to professional specifications. Hand washing is also a must.

Lyme disease is a common disease for outdoors-people. This is an illness that
may affect joints and bones, creating a possibility of skin and nervous system
problems as well. Lyme disease can affect people of all ages and is considered
to be the most frequently diagnosed of the outdoor afflictions, making
precautionary measures especially important. This affliction is actually caused
be a bacteria that looks like a corkscrew and is transmitted by the bite of a
tick. Persons with Lyme disease will likely start feeling the symptoms around
seven to fourteen days after the tick bite, starting with chills and joint
pain. Precautions should be taken to keep ticks off of the skin at all times.

There are many other bacterial infections that can be caught in the great
outdoors. With taking the proper precautions, however, most hunters can avoid
having serious incidents and can simply concentrate on the hunt. Clothing
should be kept relatively light but tight fitting, making it hard for bugs to
get on the skin and easy to spot the bugs. Of course, the problem with light
clothing on the hunt is that it also makes the hunter more visible to the
animals. Compromises can be reached, however, and there are those that suggest
the risk of disease is far too great to take a chance on not being prepared.

Regardless of the point of view, there are numerous afflictions in nature that
should be avoided and considered when hunting. It may well be nature's way of
protecting itself, but these afflictions and diseases can spread from the
hunter to the family members, making for a dangerous situation. When planning
any kind of trip to the outdoors, research the area of travel and find out all
there is to know about the possibilities for diseases and afflictions in that

Using Tree Stands in Deer Hunting

Most deer hunters are now hunting from tree stands. If you are new to deer
hunting, or if you have been hunting for a while but have yet to use this
method, you should consider using a tree stand. The benefits of using a tree
stand are that you will stay out of the deer's range of view, you will keep
your scent hidden from the deer, and you will increase the range of your view.
You do need to take certain precautions, however, to make sure that you protect

There are many types of stands and most are safe to use. Some of
these include ladder-type stands, climbing stands, and lock-on stands. You can
also nail boards to a tree. No matter what type of stand you are using, know
that accidents can happen. If a stand seems unsafe to you, do not use it. If
you are thinking about using a new tree stand and you are far from your home or
from people in general, wait. You would be unable to notify anyone in the event
that you were injured. Do not take using a tree stand lightly.

You will benefit by becoming familiar with some of the ways by which hunters 
injure themselves on or around tree stands. Accidents happen when hunters fall 
asleep. It happens more often that you would imagine. Hunters also get injured 
when they slip while climbing in or out of a tree stand. You cannot avoid things 
like excess moisture on your boot, or an exceptionally damp step. The third way 
by which hunters suffer injury using tree stands is having a piece of equipment
break. Nothing is 100% dependable. The best way to avoid severe injury from
these unfortunate events is to wear a safety harness.

Many hunters know the risk of not using a safety harness, but they still use tree 
stands without one. Your safety harness will only help you if you wear it. It is 
not good enough to put on the harness after you have settled into your stand. 
Climbing into or out of your stand is when you are most likely to be hurt, so you
need to be wearing it before you begin ascending your tree stand. It only takes a 
minute to secure and is well worth the hassle. The damage done by a fall with a 
safety harness is minimal compared to one without. The safety harness will mean 
the difference between a few bruises and a premature death.

There are a few additional steps you need to consider while preparing to use a 
tree stand for the first time. Tree steps and tie-on ladders are two favorite 
methods used by hunters. Some also use large nails as steps. If you are looking to 
cut costs, go with the nails. They are cheaper than the ladders. Test the nail to 
make sure that it is strong, steady, and secure. Use nails that will fully support
your weight. When nails bend, hunters slip and injure themselves.

Use a drill to make pilot holes for the nails. Some hunters prefer to use climbing 
stands instead of nails, but they are more expensive and limit you to certain 

Consider using a tree stand as you hunt.It is an effective way to catch your
prey off-guard. Both your body and your scent are above the deer's vicinity. It
also allows for a broader view as you study the landscape. Tree stands do cause
accidents, though.

Take all of the necessary steps to prevent any major injuries. Use a safety harness 
to shorten the distance of your fall. Make sure that the nails you use to climb the
tree are secure. Following these steps for using a tree stand ensures a safe and
pleasurable hunting experience.

How to Skin a Deer

While it may not be the most exciting job in the world, skinning a deer is
important when returning from a hunt or when still actually on the hunt. If you
have taken down the deer, elk, antelope or goat of your dreams in a glorious
hunting adventure, you will need to know how to skin the deer and how to get
the most out of your kill. If you are just learning about hunting, this
information will also be incredible handy for that remarkable day on which you
will finally be able to skin a deer.

Essentially, the act of skinning a deer is thought of to be quite simple. The
basic fundamental guideline behind it is to follow the built-in guidelines of
the body of the deer and work from that standpoint. The skin and muscle tissues
of the deer are naturally separate from one another because of the protective
membranes, making the process of skinning a lot more like following a built-in
blueprint than like trying to lift a rug in the dark. The skin should easily
peel from the meat because of these membranes, creating little risk of tearing
the skin or tearing the meat.

The most important aspect in skinning a deer is the use of your hands and the
pull of your own body weight. With these two integral tools, the aspect of
skinning a deer becomes incredibly simple. In fact, skinning a deer can
typically be completed in about ten to fifteen minutes without any serious

You should first hang the deer. This makes it easier for you to use your body
weight in the skinning process and creates a greater leverage point for
skinning the deer. This also ensures that the meat will stay clean. Whether you
hang the deer from the neck or from the legs, there is no particular difference.
It is important to try to skin the deer within an hour or two of the deer's
death, making the skinning process a whole lot easier.

Your knife should be especially sharp. Supposing the deer is hung by the legs,
find the large tendon connecting the lower leg segment to the rest of the
deer's leg. You should poke a whole with your knife in between the tendon and
the bone there, then use your fingers to feel the lump that is created by the
deer's double-jointed bone. Once you have found that lump, sever the lower leg
at the lower end of the two parts of the double joint. Cut the skin and the
tendons here and then snap the deer's leg over your own leg, using your body's
leverage to break it.

After you have broken the deer's legs in this fashion, make several incisions
around and near the tendon areas. There should be a whole between the tendon
and the bone of the lower leg, as well as several incisions near the front
legs. You will then sever and snap the front legs as well, making the skinning
process easier. After you have made the initial incisions, you will begin the
process of undressing the deer of its skin. Use your finger tips and thumbs to
get inside the skin near the lower leg incisions and begin to pull the skin off.

Essentially, the pulling of the deer's skin should work a lot like pulling a
tight jacket or pair of blue jeans off. It may be a little bit awkward, but the
layer of meat revealed below the skin should be a more than ample reward. After
the skin is pulled off, you will notice the meat is ready to go and the
separation of the meat thanks to the deer's membrane has made the whole process
a lot simpler than you ever thought possible.

Skinning a deer, while not particularly romantic, is a process that should take
around ten to fifteen minutes and relies almost entirely on your own body weight
and strength to pull the skin off of the deer's body. It really is that simple.

Hunting Turkeys

You can hunt turkeys in the spring and in the fall. You always need a permit if
you are going to hunt turkeys. The spring and fall permits, however, are
different. The spring permit allows you to hunt in a specific area during one
of the 5-day turkey hunting periods. In the fall, your permit will enable you
to hunt any day during the season, as long as it is within the zone listed on
the permit. Once you have obtained your turkey hunting permit, there are a
number of things you can do to have a successful outing.

Be prepared to practice patience. Turkey hunting takes a lot of patience. Spring 
turkey hunting involves less patience, as you make hen turkey sounds to try to 
get a gobbler to come to you. Turkeys do not mate in the fall, though, so you 
will have to patiently engage in stand hunting. Stand hunting involves finding a
spot and then waiting for the turkey to come to you.

Since you will at some point be hunting turkeys in the spring, you must become 
familiar with the several devices used to make a turkey sound. There are two main 
types. One is called a friction call, which is produced by rubbing two surfaces 
together. The other is a mouth call. This occurs when air is either inhaled or 
exhaled. A third type of caller, a shaker, creates a "gobble" noise when you shake 
it in a rapid motion.

Regardless of which type of call you will be using, you must practice the call 
diligently. You will also learn a lot by listening to the turkeys themselves. 
They are the best examples to follow. Listen to live turkeys or a calling 
recording. You can also get help by contacting an experienced turkey hunter. 
Turkeys are capable of making more than two dozen different calls. Most hunters, 
however, can only notice about 10. Their sounds include the yelp, the cluck, the 
purr, the cackle, and the most familiar sound of them all, the gobble. Make 
yourself familiar with each of these turkey calls.

The most important thing you will do to ensure a pleasurable turkey hunting 
experience is to practice safety. Turkey hunting, as with all forms of hunting, 
poses a threat to those who do not use caution and wisdom in the field. Use 
gobble calls only when you are locating a tom. Do not use it to attract one. This 
will cause another hunter to think that you are a turkey. You run the risk of 
being shot if this happens. Keep your hands and head camouflaged when you make 
turkey calls.

There are other things you can do to ensure your safety and the safety of others. 
Never stalk a turkey. Do not get closer than 100 yards to a gobbler. Choose a 
calling site that allows you to see at least 40 yards in all directions. Do not 
move an uncovered decoy. Wear an orange cap or gloves while walking, as your 
camouflaged clothing can be mistaken for a turkey by other hunters. Most shooting 
accidents happen because one hunter mistakes another hunter as game. Finally, 
remember the three basic rules of hunting:

1. Treat each and every gun as if it is loaded. 
2. Always point the muzzle in a safe direction, away from others. 
3. Be 100% sure of your target.

Following these rules and guidelines will allow you to have a successful turkey-
hunting season, be it spring or fall. As with all forms of hunting, safety is 
always your highest priority. Keep this in mind, and you are ready for the 
upcoming season. Have as much fun as you can while practicing as much safety as 
you can.

The Joy of Duck Hunting

Duck hunting is one of the most popular hunting sports in the world. It is as
much a social calling as it is a hunt, in fact, representing a whole set of
cultural standards and etiquette rules that many people do not even consider.
It has a whole culture all its own, from a proper dress code to duck hunting
dogs and assistants. The world of duck hunting is ripe with cultural
significance, but is also has a dark side and represents a less than desirable
aspect of human nature. Regardless of the point of view, there is something to
be learned about duck hunting that may shed some light on either side of the
ethical quandary.

Duck hunting is mainly a sporting activity around the world now, as commercial
duck hunting has since been banned in most of the developed countries. Duck
hunting is, in fact, as old as time itself. There are early indications that
ducks and geese were somehow hunted during the Ice Age. Cave drawings indicate
that duck hunting was a sound practice early on in human existence, giving way
to ducks and swans appearing on cave paintings in Ice Age Europe. There is also
evidence of duck hunting in Egypt, as a mural on the tomb of Khum-Hotpe displays
a man capturing ducks in a stream. Ducks were also likely hunted by early man in
the Americas, as early Peruvian art indicates.

With this international history, duck hunting enjoys a popularity that spreads
around the world. It is especially popular in North America, where the largest
number of localized ducks can be located. Most ducks use the Mississippi River
as a migratory guide, so many duck hunts take place along the river to use it
as a guide for finding ducks. Arkansas is a major hotbed of duck hunting, with
Stuttgart being considered the "duck hunting capital of the world".

Duck hunting is often considered popular because of its simplicity. The tools
of the trade are simplistic enough, from a decoy set to a shotgun and duck
call. The essence of duck hunting is based around the trickery of using the
decoy and the duck call in tandem to lure the ducks out and into the air
towards the decoy. After this takes place, the ducks are in open range for the
hunt and the firing begins. These hunts take place around rivers, streams,
lakes and any other bodies of water where ducks can be found.

There are many aspects that stand in contrast to duck hunting, of course. Most
waterfowl conservation experts agree that the hunting of any type of waterfowl
does little to help any situation. In fact, most marsh and wetland areas are
shrinking at tremendous rates, giving rise the the criticism that duck hunting
effectively diminishes an already diminishing habitat. There are several
organizations that constantly spar with duck hunters over this reality.

One organization is the popular Ducks Unlimited. Ducks Unlimited is an
international organization that stands as the leader in non-profit marshland
protection and the protection of waterfowl. Ducks Unlimited sometimes works
with hunters to protect the marshlands and protect the hunter's way of life.
The main goal of Ducks Unlimited is the conservation of localized habitats
where ducks can be found, enabling hunters to continue protected and logical
hunts of ducks and enabling the survival of more ducks by creating better
places for them to live.

Still, some hunters ignore this philosophy and have no interest in any
protection of habitats. They, instead, pillage the duck areas and hunt ducks
that should not be hunted. Duck hunting remains a controversial sport because
of this aspect, unfortunately, and will continue to have a dark side as long as
hunters remain blissfully ignorant as to the realities of organizations such as
Ducks Unlimited. Without the cooperation of hunters and marshland protectors,
duck hunts may be a thing of the past.

The Fine Art of Bow Hunting

Bow hunting is often seen as one of those "manly" sports, but there is a small
contingent of women that partake in bow hunting and take the sport to new
levels. With bow hunting, people are getting in touch with the control of the
hunt and are learning all sorts of new things about getting in tune with
themselves and using their own bodily power to get in touch with the hunting
aspect. Without the use of a firearm, people find that there is less to hide
behind with a bow and find that the psychological aspect of bow hunting can be
somewhat intimidating.

With bow hunting quickly becoming a new favorite in those seeking old-fashioned
adventure, there are many new additions to the sport that people interested in
it should get to know. One important aspect about bow hunting is the breaking
of the "safety zone". This must be done to get a clean shot at the prey. While
traditional firearms hunters can stay at a relatively safe distance from their
prey, a bow hunter must creep up on the prey and get inside a danger zone with
the animal. This means that the animal could charge or attack at any moment
within the danger zone. The hunter should be aware at all times because of this.

With some of the new additions in bow hunting, however, some of the guesswork
from the hunt is being removed. While many bow hunting traditionalists may be
against such new additions as GPS sensors and nigh-vision, others welcome any
ally that they can muster in this fight for survival and adventure. There tends
to be two different schools of hunters, but all hunters have the same goal in
mind whether they are traditionalists or "new school" hunters. The ultimate
goal of bow hunting is, of course, to bring down the ultimate prey.

There are several types of hunts that people go on. Big game hunts are popular
and include elk, wolves, mountain goats, caribou and mountain lions. Other more
dangerous hunters tend to go bow hunting after bears. There is a lot of demand
for bear hunting these days, especially archery related hunts. This is because
the danger involved with bear hunting delivers more of a rush than elk or
caribou hunting. Like running with the bulls, bear hunting brings a sort of
insane glee to the hunter and delivers certain thrills that they are not likely
to get anywhere else.

Many people book bow hunting trips or excursions with a variety of trip-leading
companies. These companies typically take a group of hunters into a particular
area that is noted for having a great deal of the animals they are seeking. The
hunting company trips come equipped with a guide that monitors the action from a
position of expertise and offers tips to the hunters in the party. Hunting trips
are often very reliant on the seasonal aspect of hunting, so those seeking a bow
hunting excursion should make sure they are paying attention to the top seasons
of hunting.

Much of bow hunting is reliant on the baiting or trapping aspect. The
aforementioned hunting trips typically supply bait to the hunting party. This
includes a knowledge from the hunting guide of placing the bait and finding a
spot to wait for the prey. As hunting guides are professionals, their advice
should always be heeded.

Typically, a hunting guide will take his or her party to a location in which
the density of the hunted animal is known to be highest. They will then set up
a camp or "base" and begin to look for baiting locations. Once the bait has
been placed in a variety of locations, a hunting area will be designated for
the bow hunters. As the hunters set up shop, the guide will typically go
through a few of the ground rules and safety techniques. After a short period
of time, the animals tend to appear and the hunt is on.

Choosing The Right Bow

As a bow hunter, you know the importance of choosing the right bow. It is
always a personal choice. There are a number of bows on the market. There are
also plenty of accessories that go with them. When the time comes for you to
pick the right bow, consider the same things that you would if you were going
to purchase a pair of hunting boots. You want to find a bow that is adequately
fit, durable, and easy to use. As with all other hunting equipment, nothing
beats quality when choosing a bow.

Due to the sheer number of bows available on the market, you should try as many 
bows as possible. You want to find a bow that feels good in your hands. You also 
want a bow that is the proper size for your body type. Finally, you want to 
purchase a bow that will match your shooting style. These factors will affect 
your level of accuracy and comfort while shooting the bow. Consider your bow an 
investment that will either benefit you or cause you a great deal of frustration 
while in the field.

There are many things to consider when buying a bow. One of the most important
is eye dominance. Eye dominance should play an important role as you search for
the right bow. You should know your eye dominance so that you can pick a
left-hand or right-hand bow. Most often, a person who is right handed will have
a dominant right eye. The same applies to someone who is left handed.

The most effective way to figure out which eye is your dominant eye is to point 
to a distant object with both eyes open. Close your left eye. If your finger is
still pointing directly at the target, your right eye is dominant. If you
notice that your finger is no longer pointing at the target, you are likely
left-eye dominant. If your right eye is your dominant eye, buy a right-handed
bow. Do the opposite if you are left-eye dominant. Taking the time to do this
will benefit your accuracy with the bow.

Other things to consider while shopping for a bow are draw length, draw weight, 
axle-to-axle length (ATA), and brace height. The most important thing, however, 
is to make sure that you choose a bow that has been made by a highly reputable 
company. Find a company that will always stand behind their product. They 
should also offer a high level of customer service. You will benefit by 
purchasing a bow that comes with a guarantee. Most companies that deal with 
higher-end bows will automatically offer an unlimited lifetime warranty.

You need to make sure that you choose the right bow as you prepare for the bow 
hunting season. There are a number of options on today's market, so take the 
time to research all of them. Several factors will determine what kind of bow 
you purchase. Decide if your right or left eye is dominant, and then select your 
bow accordingly. This will help you as you attempt to improve your accuracy in 
the field. Deal only with highly reputable companies that offer customer service 
and that guarantee your bow. You will be able to thoroughly enjoy the hunting 
season once you have found the right bow.

Hunting Throughout History

Hunting game for food, clothing and shelter is a big part of the story of the
human race. It predates the human civilization we know today in many ways.
There are many discoveries that are being made that confirm that notion. An
Asian fossilized spearhead discovered recently was dated at over 16,000 years
old, for example. There is also evidence that we used larger animals for food
almost two million years ago.

The earliest form of hunting involved, as far as the experts can tell, involved
weapons like spears or bow and arrows shot from a distance. Believe it or not,
our ancestors caught their food using the same method we use to catch the bus
to work when we're late. We ran after it. Before he learned to use long range
weapons, early man had no other way of catching his dinner than being
persistent and wearing it down over a long trek, sometimes even in the
oppressive midday heat. Some early hunters would chase antelope over 20 miles
in heat over 100 degrees. Persistence hunting would be the order of the day.
African hunters would chase a Kudu, which is an early version of the antelope,
by startling the animal so it ran away. They would chase the beast at a fast
pace, and, while the faster Kudu would always be further ahead, the hunters
would catch up to it when it took time to rest in the shade. The hunter would
eventually finish the animal off with a spear, but not until he was at close
range. This type of hunting is still practised in Southern Africa.

With changes in human society, hunting evolved. As we began to grow our own
food and keep animals, hunting became a specialized task. Not just the
traditional masculine endeavour anymore, hunting became a specific duty with
tradesmen acquiring precise training. The other trend was hunting becoming the
sport and leisure domain of the upper classes. It was here that the English
word 'game' became common.

Hunting has had other effects on our modern society as well. Various animals
have been used to aid the hunter, but none has become as important to us as the
dog. The use of the ancestors of the wolf to retrieve prey and be our loyal
companions has set the dog apart. Its domestication, which took thousands of
years, is considered a remarkable accomplishment. The tie between hunting man
and dog goes so far back that the very word for hunting in ancient Greek is
derived from the word dog.

Perhaps the most famous type of hunting is the safari, which was popularized by
the American author Ernest Hemingway. The word itself is from the Swahili,
meaning long journey, and the most common type of safari occurs in Africa. It
was frequently several days or weeks of camping while stalking or hunting big
game, but in a more modern sense, it also encompassed trips through African
national parks to hunt or watch the big game. Unlike their predecessors who ran
their prey down years before, the modern African hunter often acquires a special
licence and enlists the aid of local professionals. There is even a type of
modern safari where no animals are killed. The photo-safari is exactly what its
name implies and a Polish photographer first used the term "bloodless hunt".

The Adventure of an African Hunting Safari

Many people love the notion of going on an African hunting safari and feeling
the cool African air as they cruise through the jungle. The thought of it is
enough to create vacation dreams for many North Americans, yet translating
those dreams to reality can be a little bit complicated. Regardless, that does
not stop people from dreaming away about riding on the back of an elephant and
enjoying the company of some locals before watching a lion chomp down on its
prey. The adventure and majesty of Africa certainly comes alive during a
wonderful safari trip.

The term "safari" simply refers to an overland journey. This term has been used
to typically refer to visitors in Africa, although it has no actual geographical
connotation. There is also a certain thematic element attached to the term,
drawing upon visions of khaki clothing and a certain type of hat. Regardless of
the stereotypical connotations of the term "safari", the term still calls upon
some adventurous notions that many people desire to discover for themselves.

The original term was a reference to the early big game hunters that frequented
African. Men, typically of European descent, would head to Africa to bask in its
glory and to partake in the lay of the land. During this trip, the men would
gather in hunting parties and hunt down various rare animals. They would take
trophies for themselves and display them on walls back home, as was the custom.
It became a variable rite of passage for many men in the higher echelon of
European culture, maintaining a status grip over those people for quite a few
years before hunting became unfashionable.

These times often represent a brutal passage of time in the history of Africa.
The notion was that Africa was a piece of property that belonged to Europe and,
therefore, the animals on it also belonged to Europe. The historical
significance of these safaris often carried deep-seeded notions of control and
power to the extent of slavery over the continent, enabling Europeans to
virtually rape and pillage the land at their leisure. To this day, that history
plagues many Africans.

Now, the term "safari" refers to taking a photo safari. Instead of shooting
animals with bullets and keeping the heads mounted on the hearth, people are
taking pictures and putting together various photo displays of the magical
animals they have seen while on safari in the beautiful continent. These photo
safaris are becoming incredibly popular with people of all ages that wish to
have the experience of a lifetime taking in the wilderness and grandeur of the
incredible continent of Africa.

Safari parks are rather common in North America to draw upon the distinction of
the African safari. This is a zoo-like tourist attraction that creates an
environment where people can observe all sorts of exotic animals from a safe
vantage point. The safari park is usually walked through or ridden through in a
vehicle that would be driven by a guide. The guide describes the animals that
are seen and offers a historical context for the park, giving tourists and
guests a complete tour of the park and engaging them in knowledgeable

The game reserves in Africa tend to be a lot larger than a safari park, though.
For this reason, most people still wish to head to Africa to see the magic of
nature for themselves in as natural a setting as possible. Within the confines
of a game reserve or a safari park, people are engaged with the pure wonder of
seeing such incredible animals such as the lion or giraffe. As long as such
areas are able to protect some of these animals, people will be able to
participate in photo safaris for many years to come. The love of animals,
exotic and domestic, may well be the greatest ally to the protection of various
species threatened with extinction.

Ernest Hemingway - An Avid Sportsman

In one way or another, we have all had contact with the work or read about the
life of the famous American writer Ernest Hemingway. We certainly don't
associate Hemingway with hunting expeditions or wilderness. Those who know a
bit about the man have read of swashbuckling tales of drinking, bull fighting
and hard living. We knew him as an avid sportsman who even penned one of his
great books, The Sun Also Rises, around the annual running of the bulls in
Spain. However, what the average person might not know is that Hemingway
travelled to Africa to hunt twice in his lifetime and wrote several short
stories and novels about the experience. Hemingway is even credited with bring
the Swahili word "safari" to the English language. Although he was not
considered one of the greatest hunters, his love of the experience propelled
him to an understanding of the Kenyan people, a feat that was unheard of for
his time.

His first visit to the continent was in 1933 with his second wife, Pauline.
Together they visited both Kenya and Tanzania. During this time, and even
before he went on his first African hunt, Hemingway became sick with dysentery.
For several weeks, he was laid up in a hospital in Nairobi, where he met other
adventure-seeking men from America and Europe. After mending and continuing
with the safari, Hemingway returned home to write The Green Hills of Africa.
The book's poor sales depressed him, but the two shorter works he penned on the
trip, The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber and The Snows of Kilimanjaro, are
considered classics about African hunters.

In 1954, the great writer set out on another African safari with his fourth
wife, Mary. By this time, Hemingway was drinking far too much, but his love of
the safari called him to travel once again. It was a dangerous time, as Kenya's
Mau Mau was rebelling against British colonists. Still, it was not the violent
rebellion that almost cost the Hemingways their lives. The Hemingways were
involved in two serious plane crashes that almost killed them and the injuries
Hemingway suffered plagued him for the rest of his life. He wrote about this
second safari and his relationship with a young African girl in True at First
Light, a book that is written as fiction but generally considered

Many modern companies have sought to emulate the Hemingway safaris. Various
packages are available for African and especially Kenyan tours, mostly for the
enjoyment of taking pictures or observing the wildlife. Many of these modern
tours involve high quality lodges rather than the camping experience of Pappa's
day. While expensive, many of these modern safaris boast fine lodges and private
guides to take tourists through the Dark Continent. Most of these new wildlife
safaris have private itineraries that can be changed at a moment's notice and
private trial cars and guides. While they're still connected to the beauty of
the African landscape, they offer controlled environments that often tours
through preserves and national parks. Some of the more famous of these tours
bring back memories of Hemingway's more famous works, but most are not cheap.
One company offers a 14-day experience called the Kilimanjaro tour that costs
over three thousand dollars. Others offer excursions to places like Uganda to
view gorillas.

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